June 30, 2013 – Step by Step


Step by Step
Sunday, June 30, 2013

Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.” – Step Eleven

“As we go through the day we pause, when agitated or doubtful, and ask for the right thought or action. We constantly remind ourselves we are no longer running the show, humbly saying to ourselves many times each day, ‘Thy will be done.’ We are then in much less danger of excitement, fear, anger, worry, self-pity, or foolish decisions. We become much more efficient.” – Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, Ch 6 (“Into Action”), pp 87-8.

Today, let me understand that the 11th Step is the logical extension of Step Three – “Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.” In handing off to my Higher Power my self-will and entire life, it is then proper that I begin each day and take on any problem by asking through prayer and meditation what His will is for me instead of plunging into the habit of doing it my way. As the Big Book accurately reflects, my way generated anger, fear, worry and self-pity, and a host of other destructive feelings. Today, I can do without them, and an “easier, softer way” is to let a Higher Power who is stronger and wiser than me call the shots. And our common journey continues. Step by step. – Chris M., 2013

 

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June 30, 2013 – Twenty-Four Hours a Day


Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Sunday, June 30, 2013

AA Thought for the Day
Alcoholics are unable or unwilling, during their addiction to alcohol, to live in the present. The result is that they live in a constant state of remorse and fear because of their unholy past and its morbid attraction, or the uncertain future and its vague forebodings. So the only real hope for the alcoholic is to face the present. Now is the time. Now is ours. The past is beyond recall. The future is as uncertain as life itself. Only the now belongs to us.

Am I living in the now?

Meditation for the Day
I must forget the past as much as possible. The past is over and gone forever. Nothing can be done about the past, except to make what restitution I can. I must not carry the burden of my past failures. I must go on in faith. The clouds will clear and the way will lighten. The path will become less stony with every forward step I take. God has no reproach for anything that He has healed. I can be made whole and free, even though I have wrecked my life in the past. Remember the saying, “Neither do I condemn thee; go and sin no more.”

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may not carry the burden of the past. I pray that I may cast it off and press on in faith.

Hazelden Foundation

 

June 30, 2013 – A Day at a Time


A Day at a Time
Sunday, June 30, 2013

Reflection for the Day
I’ve learned in The Program that the trick, for me, is not stopping drinking but staying stopped and learning how not to start again. It was always relatively easy to stop, if only by sheer incapacity alone; God knows, I stopped literally thousands of times. To stay stopped, I’ve had to develop a positive program of action. I’ve had to learn to live sober, cultivating new habit patterns, new interests and new attitudes.

Am I remaining flexible in my new life? Am I exercising my freedom to abandon limited objectives?

Today I Pray
I pray that my new life will be filled with new patterns, new friends, new activities, new ways of looking at things. I need God’s help to overhaul my lifestyle to include all the newness it must hold. I also need a few ideas of my own. May my independence from chemicals or compulsive behavior help me make my choices with an open mind and a clear, appraising eye.

Today I Will Remember
Stopping is starting.

Hazelden Foundation

 

June 30, 2013 – The Eye Opener


The Eye Opener

Sunday, June 30, 2013

We are very apt to travel in the direction we are headed. Even the brightest of sunshiny days appears overcast if we wear black glasses. If we enter a restaurant by the rear door, we will undoubtedly find garbage cans, smoked and grimy walls and hear the discord of pots and pans. If you enter by the front door, you will find cleanliness and order.

Let us enter each new day by the front door.

Hazelden Foundation

 

June 30, 2013 – Today’s Gift from Hazelden


Sunday, June 30, 2013

Today’s thought from Hazelden is:

People have always wanted to talk to me about their problems. I guess I’m a good listener. Maybe I have something to contribute after all.
— Joann Reed

No one is without value in this life. Maybe we haven’t discovered our unique purpose or special gifts, but we each have a place in the universe or we wouldn’t be here.

Each of us can offer friends a valuable gift every day – we can listen. Messages from our Higher Power often come through the words of others. We perform a wonderful service for our companions by listening and by sharing our own experience and advice.

Rapt attention – giving it and receiving it – is perhaps the most valuable contribution any of us can make. Let’s never underestimate the sacredness of listening.

I will keep my own mind quiet if a friend wants to share concerns today. That way, my heart may be able to offer wisdom.

From the book:

A Woman’s Spirit by Karen Casey

A Woman’s Spirit by Karen Casey. © 1994 by Hazelden Foundation

 

June 29, 2013 – Step by Step


Step by Step
Saturday, June 29, 2013

Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.” – Step Two

” …(W)e believe there is no middle-of-the-road solution. We were in a position where life was becoming impossible, and if we had passed into the region from which there is no return through human aid, we had but two alternatives: One was to go on to the bitter end, blotting out the consciousness of our intolerable situation as best we could; and the other, to accept spiritual help. This we did because we honestly wanted to, and were willing to make the effort.” – Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, Ch 2 (“There Is a Solution”), pp 25-6.

Today, if I remain skeptical about a Higher Power or even atheist, let me accept that the one entity I entrusted to run my life – myself – simply has not worked. Especially if I am in “the region from which there is no return,” may I at least want and be willing to accept the possibility that a force for the better and stronger than my self-will exists. If I am still caught up in the myth that the spiritual entity is religious, maybe I have already set myself up by way of unwillingness to find my own Higher Power. In holding onto unwillingness and not opening myself to the possibility, the recovery I seek probably is not in the cards, especially if I continue to do it my way although it has shown me time after time after time and time and time again that I simply cannot do it on my own. Today, enough is enough, and I take the step of at least considering the possibility that something better, stronger and wiser than myself can help me do it. And our common journey continues. Step by step. – Chris M., 2013

 

June 29, 2013 – Twenty-Four Hours a Day


Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Saturday, June 29, 2013

AA Thought for the Day
The program of Alcoholics Anonymous involves a continuous striving for improvement. There can be no long resting period. We must try to work at it all the time. We must continually keep in mind that it is a program not to be measured in years because we never fully reach our goals nor are we ever cured. Our alcoholism is only kept in abeyance by daily living of the program. It is a timeless program in every sense. We live it day by day or, more precisely, moment by moment – now.

Am I always striving for improvement?

Meditation for the Day
Life is all a preparation for something better to come. God has a plan for your life, and it will work out if you try to do His will. God has things planned for you far beyond what you can imagine now. But you must prepare yourself so that you will be ready for the better things to come. Now is the time for discipline and prayer. The time of expression will come later. Life can be flooded through and through with joy and gladness. So prepare yourself for those better things to come.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may prepare myself for better things which God has in store for me. I pray that I may trust God for the future.

Hazelden Foundation